The world’s largest auto-maker, Toyota, on Wednesday said it will recall 2.77 million vehicles worldwide including some of its popular Prius hybrid cars for steering and water pump problems. This is the carmaker’s second major recall in a little over a month.
The defects, which Toyota said had caused no accidents and could each be fixed in an hour or so, could cost hundreds of millions of dollars to repair according Deutsche Securities autos analyst Kurt Sanger.Toyota is recalling 2.76 million vehicles worldwide to fix a steering component that could be damaged by wear and tear, and 630,000 gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles to replace water pumps, company spokesman Joichi Tachikawa said.
More than half of the vehicles in the latest recall, or 1.5 million, are in Japan making this Toyota’s biggest single recall in its home market.
It is also recalling 670 000 vehicles in the US and 496 000 in Europe. India is not affected.
The recall covers certain Corolla compact models made from 2000 to 2006 and second-generation Prius cars made between 2004 and 2011.
While the recall is widespread, the flaws are less serious and any damage to Toyota’s reputation would likely be limited, compared to the massive recalls of 2009 to 2011. At that time, unintended acceleration problems in Toyota vehicles were the suspected cause of fatal crashes in the US.
"They seem to be obsessively monitoring these things and looking for potential problems before they arise,” Sanger said, while estimating that the latest recalls is likely to cost Toyota about 30-40 billion yen ($380-500 million).
Last month Toyota recalled more than 7.4 million vehicles to fix power window switches. Toyota shares ended down 0.8% on Wednesday in a flat Japanese stock market.